Roots of American Democracy

  • Jun 15, 1215

    Magna Carta/ Great Charter

    Magna Carta/ Great Charter
    he 1215 charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties, and accept that his will was not arbitrary, for example by explicitly accepting that no "freeman" (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right which is still in existence today.
  • House Of Burgess

    House Of Burgess
    The first legislature anywhere in the English colonies in America was in Virginia. This was the House of Burgesses, and it first met on July 30,1619, at a church in Jamestown. Its 1st order of business was to set a minimum price for the sale of tobacco.Although the first session was cut short because of an outbreak of malaria, the House of Burgesses soon became a symbol of representative govern. Among the 22 members was the governor, who was appointed by officials of the Virginia Company in Lon.
  • Mayflower Compact

    Mayflower Compact
    The Mayflower Compact was signed on 11 November 1620 on board the Mayflower, which was at anchor in Provincetown Harbor. The document was drawn up in response to "mutinous speeches" that had come about because the Pilgrims had intended to settle in Northern Virginia, but the decision was made after arrival to instead settle in New England.
  • Plymouth Colony

    Plymouth Colony
    Plymouth Colony, America's first permanent Puritan settlement, was established by English Separatist Puritans in December 1620. The Pilgrims left England to seek religious freedom, or simply to find a better life. After a period in Holland, they set sail from Plymouth, England, on Sept. 16, 1620, aboard the Mayflower, its 102 passengers spending 65 days at sea.
  • Jamestown colony

    Jamestown colony
    jamesThe Algonquians eventually became disenchanted and, in 1622, attacked the out plantations killing over 300 of the settlers. Even though a last minute warning spared Jamestown, the attack on the colony and mismanagement of the Virginia Company at home convinced the King that he should revoke the Virginia Company Charter; Virginia became a crown colony in 1624.
  • Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut

    Fundamental Orders Of Connecticut
    Extended comments: This Constitution, known as the “Fundamental Orders of Connecticut,” is believed to be the first written Constitution in the Western Tradition, and indicates, more than once, that the foundation of the law, indeed, the very justification for government in the first place is “the Word of God,” or that Higher Law often referred to today as the Judeo-Christian ethic. Governments that uphold that general standard help insure ‘ordered liberty.’
  • French and Indian War

    French and Indian War
    The final Colonial War (1689-1763) was the French and Indian War, which is the name given to the American theater of a massive conflict involving Austria, England, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Sweden called the Seven Years War. The conflict was played out in Europe, India, and North America. In Europe, Sweden , Austria, and France were allied to crush the rising power of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.
  • The Glorious Revolution

    The Glorious Revolution
    To a large extent, the Roman Catholic James II (1633-1701), King of Great Britain from 1685 until he fled to France in 1688, brought the "Glorious" revolution down upon himself. When he succeeded his brother Charles II on the English throne, he proceeded to alienate virtually every politically and militarily significant segment of English society by commencing ill-advised attempts to Catholicize the army and the government and to pack parliament with supporters.
  • English Bill Of Rights

    English Bill Of Rights
    The Bill of Rights was passed by Parliament on 16 December 1689.[3] It was a restatement in statutory form of the Declaration of Right presented by the Convention Parliament to William and Mary in March 1689 (or 1688 by Old Style dating), inviting them to become joint sovereigns of England. It lays down limits on the powers of sovereign and sets out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament.
  • Salem Witch Trials

    Salem Witch Trials
    From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft; dozens languished in jail for months without trials until the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts subsided.
  • Albany Plan Of Union

    Albany Plan Of Union
    It is proposed that humble application be made for an act of Parliament of Great Britain, by virtue of which one general government may be formed in America, including all the said colonies, within and under which government each colony may retain its present constitution, except in the particulars wherein a change may be directed by the said act, as hereafter follows.
  • Proclamation Line Of 1763

    Proclamation Line Of 1763
    The end of the French and Indian War in 1763 was a cause for great celebration in the colonies, for it removed several ominous barriers and opened up a host of new opportunities for the colonists. The French had effectively hemmed in the British settlers and had, from the perspective of the settlers, played the "Indians" against them. The first thing on the minds of colonists was the great western frontier that had opened to them when the French ceded that contested territory to the British.
  • Sugar/Revenue Act Of 1764

    Sugar/Revenue Act Of 1764
    On April 5, 1764, Parliament passed a modified version of the Sugar and Molasses Act (1733), which was about to expire. Under the Molasses Act colonial merchants had been required to pay a tax of six pence per gallon on the importation of foreign molasses. But because of corruption, they mostly evaded the taxes and undercut the intention of the tax — that the English product would be cheaper than that from the French West Indies.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament on March 22, 1765. The new tax was imposed on all American colonists and required them to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. Ship's papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, other publications, and even playing cards were taxed.
  • Townshend Act

    Townshend Act
    Taxes on glass, paint, oil, lead, paper, and tea were applied with the design of raising 40,000 a year for the administration of the colonies. The result was the resurrection of colonial hostilities created by the Stamp Act.
    Reaction assumed revolutionary proportions in Boston,
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The killing of five colonists by British regulars
  • Intolerble Acts

    Intolerble Acts
    The government spent immense sums of money on troops and equipment in an attempt to subjugate Massachusetts. British merchants had lost huge sums of money on looted, spoiled, and destroyed goods shipped to the colonies.
  • Tea Act

    Tea Act
    The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, would launch the final spark to the revolutionary movement in Boston. The act was not intended to raise revenue in the American colonies, and in fact imposed no new taxes.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    That the tea East India Company shipped arrived in the Harbor.
  • First Continental Congress

    First Continental Congress
    The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve British North American colonies that met on September 5, 1774, at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early in the American Revolution. It was called in response to the passage of the Coercive Acts (also known as Intolerable Acts by the Colonial Americans) by the British Parliament. The Intolerable Acts had punished Boston for the Boston Tea Party.
  • Second Continental Congress

    Second Continental Congress
    Second Continental CongressTimes had taken a sharp turn for the worse. Lexington and Concord had changed everything. When the Redcoats fired into the Boston crowd in 1775, the benefit of the doubt was granted. Now the professional imperial army was attempting to arrest patriot leaders, and minutemen had been killed in their defense. In May 1775, with Redcoats once again storming Boston, the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    declarationWhen in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
  • Articles Of Confederation

    Articles Of Confederation
    articlesThe Dickinson Draft of the Articles of Confederation named the Confederation "the United States of America," provided for a Congress with representation based on population, and gave to the national government all powers not designated to the states. the Articles of Confederation were adopted by Congress on November 15, 1777.
  • Treaty Of Paris

    Treaty Of Paris
    [treaty](http://<a href='' >treaty</a>The Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States, recognized American independence and established borders for the new nation. After the British defeat at Yorktown, peace talks in Paris began in April 1782 between Richard Oswarld representing Great Britain and the American Peace Commissioners Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, and John Adams.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    shay1784-1787 Jan 25: Shays' Rebellion, a farmers' uprising named for its leader Daniel Shays, reached its climax when Shays led 1100 men in an attempt to seize the arsenal in Springfield, Mass. State militia com­manded by Gen. William Shepherd routed the insurgents. The uprising had been caused by the harsh economic conditions faced by Massachusetts farm­ers, who sought reforms and the issuance of paper money. The insurrection was begun in and of the 1784 depression that crippled the seminal U.S.
  • Land Ordinance Of 1785

    Land Ordinance Of 1785
    With the cession of the state lands assured, Congress proceeded to administer the new national domain. An ordinance was adopted on May 20, 1785, which laid the foundations of American land policy until the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862. After the Indian title had been purchased the ceded lands were to be systematically surveyed, prior to sale or settlement, into townships six miles square. Of the thirty-six sections of 640 acres in each township, the sixteenth was reserved.
  • Constitutional Convention

    Constitutional Convention
    Constityutional convictionTroubles with the existing Confederation of States finally convinced the Continental Congress, in February 1787, to call for a convention of delegates to meet in May in Philadelphia "to devise such further provisions as shall appear to them necessary to render the constitution of the Federal Government adequate to the exigencies of the Union."